Back in September of this year, we announced a new industrial edge platform, designed in collaboration with Intel, that provides manufacturers with a modern approach to building and operating industrial controls. This industrial edge platform was created to provide a holistic solution, spanning from real-time shop floor control and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) to full IT manageability, that enables industrial control system (ICS) vendors, system integrators (SIs) and manufacturers to automate previously manual industrial automation tasks including: system development, deployment and management, cybersecurity risk reduction, prescriptive and predictive maintenance improvements for factory agility, conditional monitoring, co-locating deterministic and non-deterministic workloads and reducing turnaround time.
Red Hat and Intel have already achieved good results with the industrial edge platform and made improvements to meet the needs of our customers. With Smart Production Solutions – an industry event covering a spectrum of smart and digital automation innovation in the industrial world – approaching, we’d like to highlight a major milestone in the progression of this platform. Codesys, a leading manufacturer-independent IEC 61131-3 automation software for engineering control systems, has joined the collaboration to contribute to virtualization and containerization of industrial controls (soft-PLC).
Introducing real-time performance assurance over networked control systems
Together, Red Hat, Intel and Codesys developed a roundtrip benchmark toolkit that has elevated our support from providing optimized performance that ensures that the control application process runs faster to enabling deterministic low latency with control tasks by the way it manages data flows in the industrial edge platform. With Codesys Virtual Control, any modern system can be transformed into an industrial controller, from small, dedicated devices to IT farms, completely independent of the hardware substructure.
In the past, many device manufacturers designed devices that implement Codesys Runtime System and provide a complete system that is embedded. Now, Codesys provides an open, modular system consisting of the hardware (general purpose compute device ─ at user choice), on top of an operating system that may also use virtualization with a hypervisor underneath that consists of some central processing units (CPUs), operating systems and containerization to support Codesys Runtime System.
When we initially introduced the industrial edge platform it was on an isolated process, single system level type performance assurance, using Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Real-Time (RT) and Intel Cache Allocation Technology (CAT). Now, the platform is able to achieve deterministic performance requirements between two or more systems, across the network using existing features in RHEL, such as real-time kernel and accelerated packet processing (DPDK), to meet the requirements of safety-critical controls and target the industrial automation space. Furthermore, with the general availability of Red Hat Device Edge, the industrial edge platform can now leverage Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, RHEL and Red Hat OpenShift to more effectively manage workloads at the edge.
Red Hat plans to continue working together with Intel to drive innovation on industrial controls and help build smarter, more open software-defined factories. To learn more about this collaboration and the benefit of an open edge platform, read the Red Hat, Intel, and Codesys solution brief.
About the author
Kelly leads the edge strategy for solutions, ecosystems and sales globally at Red Hat. She is a transformation strategist who partners with executives to drive client-centric transformation. Over the past 25 years, her focused approach has led these organizations to achieve goals from securing marketing share through new product entrance, M&A integration and operational digitization. Her work was recognized by receiving the Transformation Leader of the Year Award by the prestigious Women in IT organization.